Case Study Review: Language and Globalization: “Englishnization” at Rakuten

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9 -5 0 7 -0 3 3 REV: AUGUST 16, 2007 JOHN DEIGHTON VINCENT DESSAIN LEYLA N D PI TT D A N I E L A B E Y E R SD O RF E R ANDERS SJÖMAN Marketing Château Margaux Were a wine to be drunk in paradise, it would be Château Margaux. — William Styron, Sophie’s Choice Brad watched as wine poured from a precarious height into his glass, generating turbulence but no splash. “I must try that,” he thought. A young management consultant, Brad was no stranger to expensive meals, but here he felt separated from the proceedings by more than income. He was the junior member of a consulting team invited to join Corinne Mentzelopoulos and Paul Pontallier for lunch at Château Margaux, in the room where such luminaries as the president of…show more content…
We belong to it.” Château Margaux Château Margaux was part of the French elite of wines known as first growths, five specific wines from the Bordeaux region (see Exhibit 1 for Bordeaux wine region map). Although it was protected in this status by a classification system that dated from 1855, its quality had fluctuated, and at the time that the Mentzelopoulos family acquired control of the estate its fortunes were not strong. Together with equally young general manager Pontallier, Corinne Mentzelopoulos had restored the declining estate to a level worthy of its history and reputation. Leading wine critic Robert Parker had recently described Château Margaux as a “brilliantly consistent wine of stunning grace, richness and complexity.”1 It was often called the most seductive and elegant of all Bordeaux wines. In essence, wine was an agricultural product, which made land and climate fundamental to the product. While the wine makers and their techniques could change, the land remained a constant. In France, this was referred to as terroir. To the French, terroir stood for the idea that a plot of land, because of its specific microclimate and soil, determined a wine’s distinctive character. Terroir was the principle that led the French to name wines after the place they came from rather than by their grape type. Climate, however, varied from one year to another, so a wine’s vintage influenced its quality. Further, Bordeaux wines, especially

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